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Maganda Umaga, smokin' in philippines.... - Page 4

post #61 of 102

where can iget some of these mesquite woodchips  i have home in caloocan in kiingstown would love to cook with some . im in arizona at the moment but heading there in august . great aricle you have there 

post #62 of 102

I'd strongly suggest throwing what you want in a balikbayan box ((i use LBC)) and ship over what you want. I am now in Philippines, northern Mindinao just outside of Cagayan de Oro. US woods are obviously all going to be imported and are VERY VERY expensive. True Values in Manila area. My true value down south doesn't have them. 


post #63 of 102

Wife and I have a place in Pasay. Probably going back for a visit next year.


post #64 of 102
Originally Posted by smokensweet View Post

Hello, sorta new to smoking, started home business making bacon and baking cakes and cookies.  Living in the philippines is difficult to source many items, but with persistence i have found the essentials at least.  I built a custom smoker/grill out of hollow blocks and tubular as well as angular steel, with stainless steel racks.  The smoker is presently going through and expansion to allow for smoking up to maybe 100 kilos(220 pounds) of bacon at one time.  That may sound a little excessive but in the first month of business i was making 15 kilos a batch and it wouldn't last a day after i packaged it.  So i have decided to ramp it up a bit and see if i can really keep up with the demand.  I will have to also get more refrigerated space it seems.  The smoker is about 6 feet tall, by maybe 7 feet wide and 32 inches back to front, I use racks and just turn the bacon slabs on the side.  i also precut my slabs into four inch wide slabs for ease of removal of skin after smoking and ease of using in the slicer.  i found a source of charbroil applewood chunks and chips, also mesquite and tabasco chips, there is whisky barrel and jack daniels whiskey barrel also available but haven't tried those last two yet.  I cure with brown sugar, noniodized rockseasalt and pink salt at 3 percent nitrite.  usually a five day cure then a four to six hour pellicle formation depending on the humidity, with six to eight hours of cold smoking less than 95 degrees f using mainly apple wood and a little mesquite and white oak thrown in to round everything out.  When i do get more refrigeration i will be expanding to hams and turkey deli meat, may do a little roast beef just to try it out pretty soon.  Anyone in the neighborhood hit me up and will be happy to answer any questions you may have that i can.

Hello I just joined and would love ot know where you are located so I can drop by and buy some meats,.I would also like ot ask what wood you use for smoking your meats here in the Philippines

post #65 of 102
Thread Starter 

Roy, Thanks for your interest, I don't have a shop set up anywhere, you can check out what i have to offer at facebook, if you just type into the facebook search window smokensweet@yahoo.com my page should come up.  For smoked meats I just have bacon and ribs right now, the bacon i cure for 5-6 days and then i cold smoke it for 8-12 hours depending upon the weather conditions and how well the smoke is sticking.  The ribs are rubbed with a basic rub, with a little something something that you probably can't even tell its there but then i hot smoke those for 8-12 hours as well.  The wood i use is a mix of apple, hickory, mesquite, and oak.  If you are interested to purchase some, i can deliver it free anywhere between sm fairview and East Avenue during the week.  I am running a little low on ribs right now but i still have a couple of racks, it comes with my own barbecue sauce as well.  feel free to message me on my cell 09083680430.  but definitely check out my facebook page and you can see whats there.  Thanks again.

post #66 of 102
Thread Starter 

Roger, sorry i haven't checked in on this page for a while, i get mesquite at true value, but stocks are hard to come by, i wouldn't recommend cooking solely with any woodchips you do come by here because it would be quite expensive.  Also at true value and SnR membership shopping they have kingsford mesquite charcoal if you want to use that, its not too expensive.  sorry for way late reply but hope it helps.

post #67 of 102
Thread Starter 

For those looking for small scale smoking options like stove top or just a kilo or so of bacon, there is a gourmet shop called gourdo's which used to carry these little smoke trays with hickory or mesquite flavored shreds in it, they work great for small scale and even on large scale if you use enough of them, and they are reasonable at 50-60 pesos last time i checked.  someone asked about local woods, i haven't really tried many of them, i tried avocado one time and that was a massive mistake, whatever i smoked came out tasting a lot like lavender soap.  and i have it stuck in my head that mango is bad to be used for smoking?  not sure on that though but it might bear checking up on.  I am terrible about checking in on this site, i always rely upon it to notify me in an email when someone posts, but that doesn't always happen.  For those i have helped, i hope i really did help, for those i missed out on helping, sorry about that, will try harder to keep an eye out for where i can help.  feel free to check out my facebook, add me up, if you are nearby, you are welcome to come by and check out my setup.  might even feed ya. 

post #68 of 102
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Roy Harrison View Post

Hello I just joined and would love ot know where you are located so I can drop by and buy some meats,.I would also like ot ask what wood you use for smoking your meats here in the Philippines


see previous comment... :D
post #69 of 102

I have been looking all over, not just to find the woods I want on the island of Luzon (apple and hickory), but to find substitutes that are indigenous to the Philippine Archipelago. Have had little to no success on either account except that I have found a type of hickory that is indigenous to China. Can't be sure if it would have the same qualities for smoking as the North American variety. Looking forward to hearing more from you about the sources you have found. I am wanting to start on the other end of the equation from where you have started, although that may not be practical from a financial perspective. I want to be able to control the supply side, and as such to minimize material costs while maximizing quality controls by having my own farm before beginning production. As I said though, it is looking more and more as though I will have to create direct relationships with the farms and contract the production requirements in return for guaranteed purchases each month.


I'm looking forward to getting to know you and discussing your line of products and my plans for my own line. I am so happy to have found somebody with a passion for the art of charcuterie and for bringing quality products to the people and the expats of the Philippine Islands...


Jared Sewell (Bookhead)

post #70 of 102
Thread Starter 



First, Welcome to the Philippines, secondly, if i understand your approach is that you are looking to secure your sources of both smoking materials as well as a reliable source of meat, ideally you are wanting to have a farm where you supply your own?  If you have that sort of income it can certainly be done, it might take a long time to make back your investment though and as i am sure you are aware you cannot actually own anything under your name here.  So the person you have as the owner of both the business and the land would have to be very trustworthy as this is a rather large investment.  That being said, Control over the entire process from source to table is ambitious and will be a mountain of work, if you are up for it and that sort of thing is important to you then go for it.  Initially i did try searching sites like alibaba for large quantities of wood for smoking and stuff like that because i was having such a hard time finding apple and hickory, i even looked into have bags shipped from canadian and american companies. and the shipping was outrageous.  like 50-100 bucks for a 5-10 pound bag, and that didn't even include customs bribes it would take to get it out of customs and bribes to the dept of agriculture as well.  After searching along those lines for a while i finally gave in when i ran across a 5 pound bag of apple chips next to a 5 pound bag of hickory chips in true value hardware, each bag was priced at less than 10 bucks.  and as an added bonus that made me feel like i was doing something right, when i cashed out at the register they both happened to be on sale for half price...  I promptly gave up my lofty ideas of nose-tail and beyond control of product, and having done similar research into local farms regarding high quality meat i found the price was again prohibitive, you can find farmers willing to cater to your supply control demands, but it will cost two or three times what you pay at the grocery store, and having researched the large chain grocery i found their meat was consistent in fat ratio as well as flavor and price is pretty steady, they cut the rack how i want it as many as 80 racks in one week i have been able to obtain from this one grocery.  All their meat was imported from europe, verified by the stamps on the meat, the boxes they unload, the meat inspection certificates they post and by doing a little in depth research online.  Will all that in mind, i had invested a couple thousand bucks into this already building the smoker and trying different meats and woods, i just decided to use a consistent source from the grocery for the meat, and the hard part is still getting wood chunks from the hardware because sometimes i go and they have plenty and others they have none.  My advice for you is this, if you are to build your own smoker, build one that is very airtight, something that will hold in both the smoke and the heat thereby you will maximize the amount of smoke you are producing.  Personally i supplement the heat source with local uling when doing my ribs to get to and maintain temperature.  and i simply use foil pouches filled with soaked chips slightly above the coals to produce my smoke, you have to ensure with this method that your charcoal/uling is high quality, meaning dry and not just partially charred wood.  that way the only smoke generated is from your custom wood chunks you decide to use.  I had a solid business with these ribs for more than a year, Circumstances beyond our control have made that drop off significantly but last christmas alone i sold over 100 racks of ribs in one week.  If there is anything i can help you with i am glad to do so, regarding local woods, i tried a couple just on a lark, one being avocado, i posted about it, don't bother trying it, meat comes out tasting soapy lavendery in a bad bad way.  they say mango is supposed to be bad, and i realized that for centuries others far more knowledgeable than i have been smoking meats and they have likely already narrowed down the best woods for smoking and those are what is out there already.  I would love to get my hands on some cherry wood just to see if it helps though... :D  good luck and i think i posted my number on previous posts, but check out my facebook smokensweet@yahoo.com type that into the search and it should come up.  don't sell much smoked meat anymore, but i still do it for personal use. 

post #71 of 102

Thank you so much for the kind words and the great wisdom and advice you have shared me. Please forgive the lateness of my reply. I have been overwhelmed with projects and only just now was able to find my way back to the forum by searching through my browser history.


Your advice is solid gold and I want to get a running start the moment my feet hit the ground again in Manila. That will be in about 2 weeks. I want to eventually do all those great things, like having my own farm where I can grow my own pork, beef and poutlry to my own standards, but it is in now way practicle to start off trying to do everything to that extrem an ideal. As far as I'm concerned, the most important thing is getting started, no matter how small the operation, or how limmitted my understanding of the market. Getting started is always the hardest part of any enterprise and its also the best way to learn what works and what doesn't! On the job training so to speak.


The farm can wait, but getting my hands on a smoker, or building my own is critical to my immediate goals. I won't have any capital to invest, so I'm going to be extremely limmitted in what I can spend money on. I have worked out a thousand different methods for creating cold, concentrated smoke, and I have decided to go with a very low tech, and easily built smoke cylinder! I like the idea of buying from the grocery store to begin with. I have always been a bit wary of the fresh markets and the vendors have the silliest ways of pricing meat. More often than not, they will charge the same whether you are buying brisket or loin.


So you found 5 lb bags of the two most important woods in the smoking world at True Value Hardware! That is so awesome. With a cold smoke cylinder, I can get 2 to 3 hours of smoke from a few ounces of chips and saw dust. So a 5 pound bag is worth its weight in gold to me.


What are you doing with your smoker? Would you be willing to sell it to a young entrepreneur on a monthly payment basis at a set price, or lend it to me for a percentage of the profits? I have a place to build a small stationary cold smoke closet, but I could make a killing with a hot smoker for cooking with smoke such delicacies as ribs and sausages and turkey breasts and chickens and ducks... OH MY, the GOODNESS!!!


I'm looking forward to meeting you when I get to Manila. I hope you and yours are all happy and healthy and enjoying paradise.


Be well, do good work, and keep in touch...


Jared Matthew Sewell

(AKA - Bookhead)


post #72 of 102



I have lived in the philippines going on 6 years mostly away because need to work and everyone knows nearly impossible to make a great living here no matter what all the blogs say. As for BBQ I am a native texan (west) Texan and meat is in our blood, I have been desperately for years been trying to get my wife away from their so called meat, little blobs that are 98% bone pppfff. spend more time digging bone out of my teeth than enjoying the taste. I read a few comments here and although they said mesquite chips. I am needing trees, do the phillipines even allow them to be grown? I am sure the spaniards have brought them back when but, I havnt seen any??? I would be more than happy to plant a few hectares with them and throw a few head of cattle in to speed the process but in my experience


Filipinos hate progress they absolutely despise it, me and my wife just got in a fight because she said this is the philippines why you always trying to change it. I told her I wasnt just trying to make it better, told her that the philippines is the only 3rd world asian country left and it didnt end well.


My plan long term is to bring long horn cattle and actually have a good beef market they have beef but you go to the market and a tiny little slice pathetic I want beef a brisket, a round but havnt seen any yet.


My mom and dad came here a few months ago and my mom made some homemade chicken fried steak the steak wasnt any good but passable and noone ate it besides us, they looked at it like how i look at bolut. to them a BBQ means chicken feet and pork fat on  stick they wont even acknowledge the thought of having a second grade smoked t-bone.


Any suggestion..     

post #73 of 102

Hello Berry,


I feel you brother. The only way to make the change in flavors and quality demanded by Filipinos, is to do so gradually. The tastes here have been conditioned into the locals over the course of hundreds of years, and not by choice, but by necessity. You put meat flavored chemicals in a can and call it corned beef, and before long, the real thing is as alien as the canned crap was when first introduced. Necessity breeds contempt for the good, natural, wholesome products that the locals simply cannot afford. Add to that pattern, the fact that the political dynasties and the Catholic Church maintain their power over the citizens only by ensuring that they never rise above their poverty, and you have a recipe for never-ending adversity and hardship. While the powers that be get wealthier every day selling low grade dog food to the masses and charging as much or more than it would cost to give them the high quality, nutritious foods enjoyed by the ruling and religious classes...


I am making bacons and hams and like you, I am looking forward to making some corned beef, pastrami, fresh sausages, salami, and much more. My wife's family is already warming up to my gastronomical creations, and are beginning to see dollar signs in my food. They are encouraging me to start a restaurant or a food van or a catering business, but such ventures are much easier planned than delivered. So until I can have what I really want, I am looking at starting small and slow and building up to my dream. Like you, I see the farm as a critical part of being able to control quality and production levels from the get go. But I am as poor as most of the people around and so, again, I will build up slowly and continue to work on perfecting my recipes and dishing out my passion for food by the cup, the plate and the bucket until it ignites a fire in the bellies of the locals and one by one, they begin to demand more!!!

post #74 of 102
Thread Starter 

Suggestions... the arguments are echoes of similar experiences i have myself, as well as what i have seen in those around me.  I am far from an expert, however, sometimes i do have luck by planting seeds, similar to growing trees, with ideas i mean though, i find if i plant little seeds of an idea and let her eventually come up with the idea herself it works out much much better.  However, if i make it too obvious she knows what i am doing and shuts down, then like six or ten months later she suggests the same thing we argued over like it was her idea all along..  I know that wasn't the suggestion you were looking for, but to address that here we go.  I completely understand your desires to control the quality of your meat by growing your own.  From my extensive knowledge of meaningless stuff, i can say i think you could probably get away with just about anything here as long as you grease the right people.  I saw some references before regarding chili's and there was a rather large group of chiliheads importing and growing their own varieties down in cebu or davao.  But try to find a chili other than the little thai chili's or the scotch bonnets if you are lucky here and you have found some gold, or the long thin green ones i guess also.  The similarity i am guessing would be the plants, you want mesquite trees to provide cover and something for the longhorns to rub against?  I am not even sure they will grow well in this climate that would be something to look into first i guess.  Secondly finding the land available in an area with a climate that will let them thrive at a price that you can afford.  well i guess that isn't second, second would be to find out if its possible to import the seedlings or whatever.  then the land, then regarding the longhorns, i know little of raising cattle other than they are pretty tasty if fed properly.  the saying you are what you eat applies to what we eat for sure, and you might run into issues with what will you feed those longhorns if you do find land and are able to grow the mesquite and import the cattle?  That all being said, i find the problem with the local meats being they let little fat develop and what few rancher/butchers i have found who grow their own the brisket's they end up with are only about half the size you want with very little fats. 


I am horrible about paragraph breaks and proper sentence structure so please forgive me.  One way to win your wife over and it won't be cheap, is take her to some higher end restaurants that actually do have high quality imported beef, let her taste the difference.  You need to get in with some up and coming young chefs who will be your network in the future, Know the uses of the entire nose to tail of the longhorn and create your own demand i guess, this is all after you start the ranch. 


Jared, starting at the bottom is tough, we have spoken about it a couple times.  Even now after 7 years or more here i still have some really dry times with orders, build a loyal base, crazy some of my best most loyal customers are under the age of 10, i had a 6 year old call me the other day regarding a birthday cake he wants in the shape or with something to do with a rowboat, I have never met him, his grandmother buys a kilo or two of bacon from me each week because if she doesn't this kid will be mad at her.  This is kinda a story for both of you i guess, there are people out there who appreciate the different flavors that we are used to, find them, provide for them, and hopefully you will succeed.  Good luck, let me know how your ventures go for sure, if i can provide any other advice or support, let me know. 

post #75 of 102
Thread Starter 



I had another thought, if you have the funding to do so, a supplement to that funding instead of just having your return be from the high quality beef you produce could be to make it a sort of Texas style resort where the wealthy can stay and live the life of a cowboy or something like that for a weekend or something.  Maybe even if you found some surrounding feeding areas to have a cattle drive like city slickers or whatever, it could be a great draw and you could even appeal to the government bodies with that sort of thing.  When you are going through this process it will be important to ensure you do not offend anyone, they are easily offended here and also they easily offend, they can say some of the most horrible things about their own, but if someone else does it look out.  It must be presented as a High quality alternative, not a replacement because you think what is here is poor.  My wife and i struggle over similar concepts also sometimes, and she is slowly seeing things in a similar light to me, she has great taste though, so it helps when i am being "picky" about meat quality and similar things.  She now understands the importance of having quality ingredients when before she would just get it at the local market now she looks for marbling and consistency.   I also forgot to mention that in my searches i have found there are some high quality producers and importers of meats, one thing to look for is every year they have "expo's" usually near mall of asia that last for a few days where you can go and meat others in the industry and there will be a few people you want to get to know at those for sure, processers, packers, producers, etc.  Keep an eye on those, go to them and keep an open eye because even at those the gems are hidden sometimes.  But they have agriculture expo's, meat producer expo's, even food expo's you will find suppliers and people interested in obtaining high quality supply.  I know there is a meat supplier that imports some good meats from the pacific northwest, i think there website is alternatives.ph or something like that.  Again, let me know if any of this helped or if you have any other specific questions that i can address with an amateur opinion. 

post #76 of 102

Hi I'm new here and new to smoking also. I would like to ask if you can use Palochina wood shavings for smoke? Thanks!

post #77 of 102
Thread Starter 

Welcome Pjunzen,


I would have to say not to use palochina wood, I am not exactly sure what it is, but if i am not mistaken it is typically used for crates and boxes and likely heavily treated with chemicals.  even if its a version of pine wood or whatever i would say to stay away from it.  Regarding local woods to use, i still do not know enough about them to venture too far, but if you are into experimenting keep in mind that you must let the wood "season" meaning, when you cut it from the tree it must have a couple of months to dry out.  Be careful what you are experimenting with, some woods will create toxic smoke you don't want anywhere near anything you are smoking, that being said, i have seen coconut husks being used for smoke.  Look around at those smoking fish and see what they are using if you don't want to use the imported stuff.  I also saw a program where they smoke sausages on a large scale and their method of smoking is something to pass along, they have a motor basically with the shaft spinning and a 4"x4" post pressed against the spinning shaft creating friction and plenty of smoke, i think its a genius idea especially for cold smoking and may look into finding the pieces of wood needed to try that, but it kinda requires some special modification to my smoker.  anyway, welcome pjunzen and stop by and see me at Sidcor Centris Station Sunday market, i just opened up a food stall there this last weekend and its going pretty well. 

post #78 of 102
Thread Starter 


an update, we have recently started a food stall at Sidcor Sunday market located near centris station in quezon city, we operate from 6 am to 1pm every sunday.  I have my smoked ribs and mashed potatoes every weekend, smoked roast beef, bacon when its in stock, but it goes so fast and best to reserve ahead of time.  I also offer some of the best cupcakes you have ever had even if you don't have a sweettooth these are pretty damn good, and i smoked some pecans and walnuts the pecans for a pecan pie and walnuts for carrot cake.  Also offer SunBrewed Iced tea which seems like a fairly new concept here as people are going kinda crazy over it.  If you get a chance stop on by, introduce yourself and remind me you saw me on smoking meat forum and i will likely let you have a free sample of the ribs.  hope to see you there and will update you if we start up somewhere else also. 

post #79 of 102
Originally Posted by smokensweet View Post


an update, we have recently started a food stall at Sidcor Sunday market located near centris station in quezon city, we operate from 6 am to 1pm every sunday.  I have my smoked ribs and mashed potatoes every weekend, smoked roast beef, bacon when its in stock, but it goes so fast and best to reserve ahead of time.  I also offer some of the best cupcakes you have ever had even if you don't have a sweettooth these are pretty damn good, and i smoked some pecans and walnuts the pecans for a pecan pie and walnuts for carrot cake.  Also offer SunBrewed Iced tea which seems like a fairly new concept here as people are going kinda crazy over it.  If you get a chance stop on by, introduce yourself and remind me you saw me on smoking meat forum and i will likely let you have a free sample of the ribs.  hope to see you there and will update you if we start up somewhere else also. 

I will drop by one of these days when I get enough courage to get through the traffic going there :)

post #80 of 102

Hi smokensweet,


I'm a Filipino and grew up here in the Philippines but was fortunate to travel and ate food from different part of the world. One of my favorite is smoked meat/american barbeque. I grew up from a family that loves to cook that tries to make our own version of good food we had in restaurants. I wanted to try making my own smoked barbeque. I searched the internet and I'm here reading all your post in this thread. I will drop by to your stall in Centris  this weekend. I hope I can get there early to try your bacon and ribs.




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